8 Best Cottages in Wayanad for a Memorable Stay

Named among the most gorgeous hill stations in South India, Wayanad is one of the year-long favorite to escape the plains and bask in the bliss of nature. To accommodate the crowds of visitors, the hill town has several charming options for stay. From charming cottages to luxury resorts, from treehouse to homestays, holidays in Wayanad are made all the more special with their extensive options.

Selecting the right kind of accommodation in Wayanad is absolutely necessary, as it sets the mood for your vacation. Here is a list of 8 beautiful Cottages in Wayanad that offer an unforgettable stay.

1. Vyithri Village

Unmatched harmony in essence, Vyithri Village Resort is spread over 22 acres of refreshing greenery. The 5-star luxury resort offers not just a pleasant stay, but the bliss of nature, aroma of spices, coffee and tea, along with experience of village life. Honeymoon couples in Kerala are absolutely thrilled as the resort presents some of the best cottages in Wayanad.

Equipped with all contemporary facilities, each accommodation has its typical character. The delights do not end here, there are an options to get pampered with Ayurveda therapies or other rejuvenating sciences at the spa. Inspired from healing, promoting wellness, there are inclusive treatments designed for individuals. Yoga in the lush environs furthers your blissful stay.

Sightseeing, trekking and several adventure activities invites you to relax, revitalize and refresh at Vythiri Village Resort. Treat yourself at the themed multi-cuisine restaurants. To mix business with leisure, on-site are facilities of a conference centre.

2. Wayanad Silver Woods

Snuggled in the lap of Banasura hills overlooking the cerulean spread of Banasura Sagar, Wayanad Silver Woods is a luxury resort in the charming hill town. Spread over sprawling area of 16 acres, the resort is nestled amid lush tropical forest, mist-clad hills, myriad flora and fauna, gushing mountain streams, cascading waterfalls and abundant blessings of nature.

Wayanad 2

The lavish resort has 5 categories of villas, each of them having luxury amenities, overlooking the nearby blissful beauty. These individual cottages are truly unrivalled in bliss. Adhering to eco-friendly measures, the resort stressing on nature and its conservation.

Inspired from nature is the resort’s Ayurvedic Spa where ancient traditions of Ayurveda are practiced for the harmony of the senses, mind and body. Massages, rituals, wellness therapies, yoga and meditation practices enhance the bliss. Infinity pool, fitness centre, convention centre and multi-cuisine restaurants serving lip-smacking dishes, Continental, Mughlai, North Indian and South Indian delights.

3. Tree Houses at Pepper Trail

Adding an extra star to the pleasure of Wayanad holiday is a stay at Tree Houses at Pepper Trail. Built on the strong arms of ancient trees, almost 40 feet above the ground, the Tree Houses are beautiful natural lodgings. Delight in the experience of staying in the tree, high above the ground, enveloped in a rare kind of natural bliss.

Settled amid a plantation, the resort also has a number of cottages at the ground level too. The tree cottages are truly delights. Climb up to the platform that lets you revel in the bliss of the scenery or simply enjoy the calls of nature. Cottages enjoy cozy beds, simple yet effective furnishings, attached bathrooms, and many other facilities.

From fresh traditional cookery of Kerala, delightful sightseeing, adventure activities and more, Pepper Trail offers a relaxing getaway. Come with family, friends or honeymoon, the delight is unmatched.

4. Coffee County Resorts

If your idea of holiday is a mix of luxury as well as natural environs, then the Coffee County Resorts in Wayanad serves the very purpose. Offering the ideal setup for a memorable holiday, the resort is perfect for getaway in natural bliss of Kerala.

Spread over 80acres, the luxury resort enjoying the bliss of Kerala’s favorite hill town has cottages high above the ground amid lush tree tops. Built of rosewood and bamboo, the cottage imitate the experience of tree houses though quite stably built on the ground. Luxuries are not amiss in the simple yet charming l0dgings. Each of the cottage opens up to the breathtaking views of the panorama. Rooms come equipped with attached bathrooms that also have the facility of a private plunge pool.

New experiences with your loved ones await at the Coffee Country Resort. Savor mouthwatering food, go sightseeing, and embark on trekking and other adventure activities.

5. Ayurveda Yoga Villa

Located in the middle of forest on the banks of River Kabini, Ayurveda Yoga Villa is one of the best resorts in Wayanad. Practicing the ancient tradition of holistic healing of Ayurveda, the resort focuses on providing you with only the best experiences of wellness. The spa resort is known for traditional Ayurvedic therapies, yoga and meditation to heal, rejuvenate body, mind and soul.

The environs of the resort is unrivalled. Hera the melody of the flowing Kabini River nearby as well as calls of the wild. The serene bliss seems to work best for Ayurveda. The charming mud cottages are equipped with en suite bathroom, balconies that open up to the picturesque views of the river and forests, private gardens and modern day requirements.

Stay at the Ayurveda Yoga Villa will change you completely. You will be rejuvenated by the treatments, the pure food, blessed air and the cordial hospitality.

6. Jungle Retreat Wayanad

Jungle Retreat in Wayanad is one of the reasons why Kerala is blessed with memorable holidays. The 10 acre farm is settled in the middle of jungle on all sides. It is an ideal escape for wildlife and nature lovers offering all-day jungle treks and wildlife safari drives in Wayanad and Nagarhole. Watch animals graze in meadows or come for a drink in the watering-hole from your comfortable lodgings.

The cottages of the Jungle Retreat are settled in meadows and beautiful locales without much disturbance to the jungle environs and wildlife that frequent the area. There are options for solo backpacker, couples, and families. Cottages have access to large private sun-deck, balconies, attached bathrooms with running water, electricity and other basic necessities.

The retreat is a tryst with nature and on the same note, nature loving tribals look after the meals, sightseeing and excursions in the forests.

7. Banasura Hill Resort

Banasura Hill Resort stands on the brink of the Banasura Sagar Dam, the largest earthen dam in the world. Surrounded by the misty Banasura Hills, this resort is built using the same mud excavated to build the dam. The rustic bliss of the resort enamors all.

Wayanad 7

Nestled in the emerald landscape, spread across 35 acres, the resort combines luxury with serene nature and has been fondly named ‘Heaven made from Earth’. Named among the best cottages in Wayanad, the lodgings match up to its reputation. They are lavish as well as eco-friendly, crafted from mud in traditional architecture. Perfect for a stay with family, friends or your partner, enjoy a peaceful break.

The Banasura resort enjoys not just beauty, but proximity to Western Ghats listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banasura Falls, tea gardens, forests and so much more. Pamper yourself at the Ayurveda centre where traditional therapies rejuvenate your senses. Treat your taste buds to mouthwatering flavors of Kerala at the bamboo restaurant.

8. Haritagiri Hotel & Ayurvedic Village

Enjoying the prime location of the pristine natural beauty of Western Ghats, Haritagiri Hotel and Ayurvedic Village offers charming cottages for vacations in Wayanad. Away from the hustle-bustle of cities, noise and pollution, the resort lies amid bamboo and other exotic spices. Lodgings are charming with a mix of rustic touch and modern day conveniences.

Wake up to the call of birds, breathe in the fresh breeze of the hills and savor the simple pleasures of life. Treat your taste buds with gourmet experiences at lavish restaurants that serve delicious food from all over the world including drinks and not just the specialties of Kerala. The premises also have swimming pool, game courts, conference centre and other facilities. Ayurveda works its magic like no other at Haritagiri. Trained professionals of Ayurveda diagnose your problem and plan out a treatment that works best to harmonize you sense with nature.

HUMAN BY NATURE – A FAIRY TALE ABOUT KERALA

Human By Nature is actually a fairy tale… A story about how ordinary people lived among waters and fabulous forest, among endless tea plantations and spice gardens and tell to the whole world the story of Kerala.

HUMAN 1

A long time after the Kerala Blog Express 2019 experience ended, I thought what impressed me more in this fabulous journey. And I realized that the common denominator of all the beauty that we saw were people.

When we surfed in the calm backwaters on traditional houseboat sites converted by a brilliant mind from old commercial boats in floating luxury resorts, who made us see magic places were people from there.

When we arrived in the Periyar Tiger Reserve woods even the lake enchanted us with his silence, another human, a  very special woman this time, taught us in simple words what it means to protect the nature.

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When we got through fields of spices to Carmelia Heaven overwhelmed by the variety of spices and other plants that make our life tastier and delicious, a man was at us to unravel the mysteries of these small miracles that we only think that are just little bags or boxes in supermarkets.
Once in the land of tea in Munar, after the joy of being among the plantations sudden, I saw green tea factory decades old when I realized that all people are the spells tiny leaves and turn them into the pleasure of our cup.

When we watched spellbound performances with dances Kathakali or Mohiniyattam or simply we were welcomed with love and respect in all places where we stopped with small traditional performances, I realized that behind these benefits are in fact emotions and work people who created them.

HUMAN
And above all, I always looked ordinary people. People who take their daily normal life in settlements that for us were just so beautiful places but they meant home. People who enjoyed the traditional celebrations or blessing of celestial divinity, whatever is his name. People were dressed in smiles and looked with love and wisdom into tomorrow, but being happy today.

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And then I fully understand that, actually, Kerala’s people express their selves by nature and this, in turn, makes the way they are: simple, beautiful and happy. So, I realize that is the simplest and most profound meaning of the concept of Human by Nature.

 

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit the Indian State of Maharashtra

Maharashtra India is a diverse country with different cultures, languages, and traditions peacefully coexisting. And if there’s one state that captures this diversity, it is Maharashtra. Although famous for the glamorous city of Mumbai, Maharashtra is so much more than Bollywood and Marine Drive. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit at least once in your lifetime.
Maharashtra

The beaches

If you haven’t seen the beaches of Maharashtra, you haven’t seen beaches at all. Being situated on the west coast of India, Maharashtra not only enjoys a favorable climate but also some of the best beaches in the country. Bathe in the sea or sunbathe on the sand, you just can’t have enough of Maharashtra’s beaches. Some of the beaches you must visit on a trip to Pune are Dapoli, Alibaug, Sindhdurg, Tarkarli, Kashid, and Dahanu.

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The food

Maharashtra is a cosmopolitan state with all kinds of cuisines easily available in every city. But the local food is what Maharashtra is famous for. From misal pav to pithla bhakri, from vada pav to puran poli to pandhra and tambda rassa, there are loads of dishes that make the local cuisine of Maharashtra so delectable.

Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta Caves are a World Heritage site and draw millions of visitors every year. While five of these caves are chaityas, the others are viharas. Some of the caves date back to the early Buddhist period, when the Buddha wasn’t represented directly, but with signs and symbols. Visiting these caves are a must if you want to witness some remarkable ancient architecture.

Ellora Caves

Located 30 kilometers from Aurangabad, the Ellora Caves are just like the Ajanta Caves, the first rock-cut temples in India. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ellora Caves were sculpted over five centuries by generations of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain monks. The Ajanta and Ellora Caves are famous all over the world, and a trip to Maharashtra isn’t complete without a visit to these ancient temples.

Vineyards

India is producing some world-class wine these days, and most of the vineyards are in Maharashtra because of the favorable climate. If you are a wine connoisseur, your trip to Maharashtra will be incomplete without a visit to some of the famous Indian vineyards. If you have time to spare be sure to visit the best-known vineyards, Sula vineyard, located in Nashik, as is the Chateau d’Ori vineyard, while The Fratelli Wines vineyard is in Motewadi.

Ganesh Chaturthi

Lord Ganesha holds a very important place in Maharashtra, Ganesh Chaturthi is the most prominent festival in the state. To experience the state in all its color and glory, visit during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated for over four days. The pomp and show make the whole state come alive and draws hundreds of devotees and travelers to be a part of the celebrations. You can witness these festivities first-hand when on a trip to Pune or Mumbai.

The shopping

Mumbai is home to some of the top Indian designers, from Manish Malhotra to Tarun Tahiliani. Needless to say, Maharashtra is where you are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping. From the Paithani saris to the Kolhapuri sandals to the latest trends in fashion, there is nothing you cannot find here, sometimes at huge discounts. The best place to go shopping in Maharashtra is Lal Bahadur Shastri road, where you can get just about anything under the sun! Be sure to wear comfortable footwear so you can spend hour after hour exploring the market without your feet going sore.

The monsoons

The rains make Maharashtra a thing of beauty. To experience the rainy season at its best, a long drive down the Pune-Panchgani-Mahabaleshwar-Kaas Plateau all the way to the Western Ghats is a must. You will want to keep coming back to enjoy the lush beauty of the place. Be sure to spend some time at Kaas Plateau of Flowers where you can see miles of flowers in full bloom, especially during monsoon.

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The monuments

Some of the most famous historical monuments are in Maharashtra. From the Gateway of India to the Aga Khan Palace to over 60 forts, Maharashtra is one of those few Indian states that can take you back in time with its charming monuments.

Best Seven Must-Visit Attractions City in Kochi, India

Kochi multi-cultural history has given it several landmarks to take pride in. Influenced by Europe and the Keralan state’s indigenous culture, here are seven must-visit attractions in the Indian city.

Kochi

Kerala Kathakali Centre

Watch Kathakali – the traditional dance-drama art form of Kerala – at the Kerala Kathakali Centre. Kathakali is traditionally performed at night on the premises of a temple, but you can watch it at the centre indoors. Here, the nuances of Kathakali are explained to the visitor, such as the hand gestures, the traditional storylines and the identification of the characters. You can also take photographs of the artists as they undergo their elaborate makeup rituals.

Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica

The Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica is an ancient structure from the Dutch regime and renowned for its Gothic architecture. Originally built by the Portuguese in 1558, it was destroyed by the British and later rebuilt in 1887. It was ordained a Basilica in 1984 by Pope John Paul II. The church is striking in its appearance, wearing a bright cream-ish-white coat of paint. The main altar inside it is decorated by the acclaimed Italian painter Fra Antonio Moscheni.

Chinese Fishing Net

Walk along the sea face of Fort Kochi marvelling at the Chinese Fishing Nets that date back centuries. This 10 m (33 ft.) high structures are operated by a team of around six fishermen. The nets, compared to the more conventional ones, are outstretched over the sea with large stones suspended from ropes as counterweights at the other end. They do not yield a large catch and mostly contain only some fish and crustaceans. Other than Kochi, these Chinese Fishing Nets are found in Kollam, another district of Kerala.

Hill Palace Museum

The largest archaeological museum in Kerala, the Hill Palace Museum, built in 1865, was the official residence of the erstwhile rulers of Kochi. Oil paintings, murals, sculptures, manuscripts and belongings of the Kochi royal family are exhibited here. Make a day of it by visiting the deer park, children’s park, prehistoric park and heritage museum, while exploring the numerous rare species on medicinal plants, all to be found on the Hill Palace premises. About 10 km (6.2 mi) from the city centre, the attraction is approachable by road and rail.

St. Francis Church

The St. Francis Church is the first European church built in India, dating back to 1503. It is here that the remains of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama were first buried. Originally made with mud and wood, the church was later reconstructed in stone in 1516 and declared a protected structure in 1923. This is the only remaining Portuguese church in Kochi, as the rest were destroyed by the Dutch during their reign over the city. Services are conducted here only on Sundays and commemorative days and it is open for visitors on weekdays.

Iringole Bhagavathy Temple

This hidden beauty is a temple dedicated to Goddess Vana Durga. It is nestled amid an evergreen forest called a kaavu –sacred grove, which has remained undisturbed until today. According to a local myth, it is protected by the trees within the grove who are gods themselves and are there to protect the deity. The 50 acres of forest area surrounding the temple is home to 44 species of birds and a number of endangered animals and insects. A pond near the entrance of the premises houses numerous turtles, fish, birds and butterflies.

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Paradesi Synagogue

The oldest Jewish Synagogue in the country and the only functioning one in the city, the Paradesi Synagogue dates back to 1567 and is attributed to the Spanish-speaking Cochin Jews. Considered one of the biggest tourist attractions in Kochi, the synagogue is renowned for its centuries-old blue and white Chinese tiles. The place of worship can be accessed with a small entrance fee. The ticket collector, Yaheh Hallegua, is the last surviving woman from the latest generation of Cochin Jews.

Why India is the Most Dangerous Country For Women

Around 548 experts from both developed and developing nations were polled on what they thought was the most dangerous country for women. The results of the global survey, conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, are now in.
Women

Back in 2011, when the foundation conducted a similar survey, Afghanistan made the top of the list followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, India, and Somalia (in that order). Seven years later, they carried out another poll between March 26 and May 4, 2018, across five regions—South East Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Things had definitely changed this time around. India was now at the very top.

The respondents of the poll included non-government organization workers, aid and development professionals, health workers, academics, social commentators, journalists, and policymakers.

They were contacted by phone, online and in-person, and were asked to name the five most dangerous countries for women from the 193 United Nation member states, across six categories:

1. Healthcare: Maternal mortality, lack of access to healthcare, awareness, and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other general concerns.

2. Discrimination: Job discrimination and lack of access to education among others.

3. Cultural traditions/customary practices: Risk faced by women due to cultural, religious and tribal traditions such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, physical abuse, stoning, female infanticide and forced marriage.

4. Sexual violence: Domestic rape, rape as a weapon of war, sexual harassment, lack of access to justice in rape cases and rape by a stranger.

5. Non-sexual violence: Mental, domestic and physical abuse and conflict-related violence.

6. Human trafficking: Sexual slavery, domestic servitude, bonded and forced labour and forced marriage.

Each country received a score based on the number of times it was given as an answer and the final rankings were determined by an average.

The foundation said, “World leaders vowed three years ago to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls by 2030, allowing them to live freely and safely to participate equally in political, economic and public life. But despite this pledge, it is estimated that one in three women globally experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime.”

Findings of the survey

According to the results, India ranked first for customary practices, sexual violence and human trafficking, third in discrimination and non-violence categories and fourth in healthcare. “There was an outcry in India after the 2012 Delhi gang rape, so you would have thought things would have improved. But that does not seem to be the case even though new laws have been introduced and more women are reporting sexual crimes”, said Monique Villa, the CEO of Thomson Reuters Foundation, according to The Times of India.

The list below shows the top 10 places considered dangerous for women:

1. India

2. Afghanistan

3. Syria

4. Somalia

5. Saudi Arabia

6. Pakistan

7. Democratic Republic of Congo

8. Yemen

9. Nigeria

10. USA (because of the #MeToo uprising)

How is India tackling the problem?

The Indian government has taken several measures to tackle crimes against women. These include installing CCTVs and GPS in public service vehicles, shelter homes for destitute women, helpline services, initiating Awaz Uthao Abhiyan to conduct safety audits and help victims of sexual abuse and introducing All-Women Cops Squad to the streets of Jaipur.

Moreover, the government has strengthened its laws to make the country safer for women. India’s cabinet passed a new ordinance in April 2018 which stated the ‘death penalty for rapists of girls under 12 years’. It has also called for rape cases to be investigated within two months and for trails to be concluded within the same period. Many fast-track courts have been set up for this very reason.

Along with the government, many organizations and individuals have joined hands to make India a better place for women.

– Breakthrough India is an NGO and community organization that is working to end violence against women.

– The Red Brigade is an NGO in Lucknow teaching women to fight against sexual violence through self-defense education.

– Sayfty educates women on how to protect themselves against any form of violence.

– Priya’s Shakti is India’s first feminist superhero comic book that is fighting against rape and gender inequality in India. It has shown how a rape victim turns into a superhero.

– Kolkata based artist, Sujatro Ghosh ran the Holy Cow Campaign to address the inequality faced by women in India, by comparing them to the cow.

The Best Places to Visit in memorable South India

South India comprises Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Each state has its own unique traditions, culture, history and art, and for a traveller, the region is a repository of unique, memorable and enriching experiences. Here we touch upon some of the best places to visit.
South India

Kerala

We couldn’t possibly choose just one place in Kerala to visit, given that each and every place that make this south Indian state hold their own beautiful and unique appeal, worthy of a visit. The state is a beautiful natural marvel, fit with blissful backwaters; tea, spice and coffee plantations, gorgeous beaches, diverse wildlife, and memorable golden sunsets. It also has a well-preserved cultural, art and historical heritage, which beckons art aficionados and history buffs. Plus, it’s also a gem for outdoor sports, with wildlife safari, backwater cruising, trekking, bamboo rafting and water sports as the most popular ventures. The must-visit places in Kerala include Munnar, Wayanad, Fort Kochi, Varkala, and Alleppey.

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Coorg (Kodagu)

Dubbed the ‘Scotland of India’, Coorg is a popular hill station among locals and travelers, and with good reason. The picturesque landscape encompassing acres of spice and coffee plantations, scenic waterfalls, mountains, lakes and enthralling trekking trails make it a haven for nature lovers and trekkers, while the lush forests harbor diverse flora and fauna, which beckons wildlife explorers from across the country.

Hampi

UNESCO designated Hampi a World Heritage Site owing to its magnificent architectural and historical significance. It is the place where the visitors can explore the remnants of one of the greatest empires of the past, the Vijaynagara empire. There are ancient temples, dilapidated forts, huge boulders and monoliths that continue to enthrall wandering visitors.

Gandikota

Gandikota is one of the beautiful villages in Andhra Pradesh and is arguably the one that has a unique appeal. Sure, each place in South India has something special to offer, but how many of them have a Grand Canyon? Labelled as ‘India’s Hidden Grand Canyon’, Gandikota is carved by the Penna River that flows through the Erramala hills in Andhra. The best way to explore this scenic spot is via a hike, which isn’t an easy one, but the unbeatable views and scenery that await top are worth the effort. It is surely one place that you’ll never forget.

Mysore (Mysuru)

Nestled at the foothills of Chamundi hills in Karnataka, Mysore is famous for its majestic Mysore Palace, which is among the grandest palaces in the country. It is a beautiful compendium that opens up the pages of Mysore’s grand history. Be there until the evening time as the entire palace is illuminated with nearly 100,000 lamps – truly a sight to behold! You can also check out the stunning Jagmohan Palace, where you can see South India’s exquisite artwork and artifacts. For nature lovers, a visit to Brindavan Gardens (botanical garden) and Karanaji Lake (largest lake in the state) is a must.

Madurai

Known as the hub of Tamil culture and learning, Madurai is an ancient city that is over 4,000 years old. It is worth visiting this place for one reason, and one reason alone – the Meenakshi temple that is as old as the city. Dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi (an incarnation of Parvati), the temple stands out with its stunning Dravidian architecture, complete with intricately designed 14 gopurams (gateway towers), sculpted pillared halls and colorful sculptures depicting the mythological tales and scenes from Hindu texts. The 17th-century Tirumalai Nayak Palace, the 19th-century Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Velachery Pottery Village and Gandhi Memorial Museum are other highlights.

Kodaikanal

Brimming with tea plantations, scenic lakes, gushing waterfalls and lush forests, Kodaikanal is a delight for photographers and nature lovers alike. Throw in a plenty of recreational activities, such as forest walks, rock climbing, trekking and boating, and Kodaikanal is a perfect place for adventure enthusiasts, as well. The Kodai lake, Guna Caves, Berijam lake, the Silver Cascades Waterfall and Kodaikanal Solar Observatory are particular highlights.

Gokarna

A tiny coastal town in Karnataka, Gokarna is often overshadowed by its neighbor Goa but has plenty to offer in its own right. There are pristine beaches, such as Gokarna beach, Om beach, Paradise Beach and Half Moon beach, where visitors can relax and stroll in peace and quiet, or get active with water sports, such as snorkeling, parasailing and banana boat rides. The town will appeal to spiritual seekers to boot; it is home to many ancient temples, such as the Mahabaleshwar temple and the Maha Ganpati temple.

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Bangalore

The Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore (Bengaluru) is booming with life, complete with cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, gardens, amusement parks, shops, museums and temples. Sights worth visiting include the Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, ISKCON temple, Bannerghatta National Park, Lal Bagh (botanical garden), the Bangalore Palace, Wonderla (amusement park), Cubbon Park, Government Museum and Commercial street (shopping).

The Best Things To See and Do In natural Kannur, India

Kannur

Once an ancient trading port, the city of Kannur stands rich even today with remnants of its glorious history – from grand forts to well-preserved museums. Spread along the Arabian Sea in northern Kerala, the city is also blessed with several glorious beaches and natural attractions. To make sure your experience in the city is memorable, we’ve compiled a guide to the best things to see and do while in Kannur.

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St. Angelo Fort

This Arabian Sea facing fort was built in 1505 by Dom Francisco de Almeida, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India. The fort has since withstood several attacks, and been under the control of various regimes – the Dutch in 1663, a local king in 1772, and the British in 1790. Today, its well-preserved ruins attract thousands of tourists to this quaint part of Kannur every year.

Kannur Lighthouse

This still-active lighthouse was first constructed in 1903 but later reconstructed in 1976 after the sea caused it much damage. Visitors can view the beachy coastline from the top of the lighthouse, and catch particularly striking sunset views. The surrounding park area is also particularly well-maintained and ideal for a stroll.

Arakkal Museum

This well-preserved museum is dedicated to the Arakkal family, Kerala’s only Muslim royal family, and is housed within the Arakkal royal palace. Featuring a range of items from photographs to antique furniture and weapons used by the royal family between 1545 and 1819, the museum safeguards the remnants of a unique slice of Kerala history.

Muzhappilangad Drive-in Beach

The longest drive-in beach in India, Muzhappilangad Beach offers about four kilometers of sand suitable for visitors to drive into. Stunning sunset and sunrise views, frequent visits by rare migratory birds and picturesque rock formations are additional highlights at this famous beach. Well maintained and rarely crowded, Muzhappilangad is an experience not to be missed.

Iconic restaurants

In sync with the rest of Kerala, Kannur is home to countless impeccable seafood restaurants. Odense is a hot favorite among locals for its customized seafood dishes. From traditional fish fry to shrimp and squid entrees, the menu offers plenty of delicious food that begs to be tried. Meat lovers will find particular joy in visiting the famous MVK restaurant for their popular non-vegetarian biryanis.

Payyambalam Beach

This exceptionally well-maintained beach is among the most popular in the area. A bit secluded from the rest of the town, the beach boasts picturesque rock formations, calm waters, clear sands, and is bordered by lush green coconut trees. Ideal for picnics or even games of beach volleyball or football, Payyambalam Beach has something to offer everyone.

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Kerala Folklore Academy

The Kerala Folklore Academy was set up to promote the traditional performance art forms of Kerala. Home to a museum, library and cultural center, the Kannur campus of the institute proves to be immensely rewarding for anyone wishing to get acquainted with art forms particular to north Kerala.

The 10 Best Heritage Hotels in Kannur Kerala, India

Heritage Hotels With rampant modernization and advancement, hotels around the world compete with each other on the latest styles and innovations. However, there are some hotels that are dedicated to perpetuating the dying cultures and traditions of the land. Kerala is rich with history, nature, and culture, and there are several hotels that keep alive its legacy. Here are the ten best heritage hotels from across the state that has retained the old world charm and continue to live the tales.

Heritage Hotels

Chittoor Kottaram – CGH Earth, Kochi

Chain Hotel, Eco Hotel, Garden Hotel, Spa Hotel, Hotel With a rich history of three centuries, this traditional mansion was built by the Raja of Cochin, who also constructed a family temple just 50 yards away from the dwelling. Devoid of extravagance, it is commendable for its plain and tasteful glory. The palace has been maintained to preserve its original essence and as a remembrance of the days of yore. The highlight of the hotel is that it accepts only singular guests, where the entire staff will be dedicated to your services exclusively.

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Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel, Kochi

Located in the chief tourist spot of Fort Kochi, Old Lighthouse Bristow Hotel provides scenic vistas of the sea. Their food is favored for its modern take on classic delicacies. The place is a recipient of the Travellers’ Choice Awards by Tripadvisor in 2016. The precinct of the hotel houses the old lighthouse mast that dates back to 1927.

Coconut Lagoon – CGH Earth Resort, Kumarakom

Built with the aim of perpetuating traditional Kerala architecture, these homes on the Vembanad Lake in Kumarakom are a living legacy of the ancient ancestral homes, or tharavadu, that existed in Kerala and are now almost extinct. The abodes have been diligently rebuilt from the original locations around Kerala. The experience of staying at the estate is heightened by the presence of the sacred grove on the land.

Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort, Bolgatty Isand

Built by the Dutch traders in 1744, this mansion houses four stately quarters. Popular with honeymooners, it is known for its exclusivity and world-class conveniences, which includes a nine-hole golf course created in 1925. The royal home began as the abode of the commander of Dutch Malabar and was later rented out to the British in 1909. It served as the seat of the British Resident of Cochin during the British Raj.

Casino Hotel, Kochi

The forerunner of the CGH Earth group of hotels that specializes in heritage assets, Casino Hotel was erected in the late 1950s. It is an exemplar of the perfect amalgamation of the rich past and the distinguished present. The hotel is renowned for their hospitality, which reflects the intrinsic warmth of the people of God’s Own Country. They ensure that the patrons experience a slice of Kerala through its architecture, amenities, and cuisine.

Eighth Bastion – CGH Earth, Fort Kochi

According to historical records, there were seven bastions in Fort Kochi that were built by the Portuguese and bolstered by the Dutch later. The Eighth Bastion is inspired by this colonial history and reflects it in its architecture and style. The charming boutique hotel is built in line with the style of the forts built by the Dutch East India Company. The hotel’s affinity to antiquity is underlined by the presence of the model of the Batavia, the relic of a legendary vessel that was washed off the coast of Australia.

Taj Malabar Resort & Spa, Cochin, Kochi

Characterized by the old world charm, this 5-star property offers its guests world-class luxuries. Embodying colonial charm, the hotel enjoys an envious location, being situated at the waterfront and facing the Arabian Sea. It thus provides an unshared experience replete with unbeaten luxuries. Wood-beamed ceilings and wood finishing lend a regal touch to the ambiance and stay.

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Brunton Boatyard Hotel – CGH Earth, Kochi

Reminiscent of the colonial period, this pleasing hotel has preserved the remnants of the past. A five-star hotel in the midst of bustling Fort Kochi, the ambiance of the place is done up with the influences of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. The artifacts, curios, hanging fans, and high ceilings are symbolic of the mixture of cultures that have left their mark on Fort Kochi.

Daily wage Kerala labourer wins Rs 12 crore in lottery

Kerala Porunnan Rajan, a resident of Kannur district in Kerala, struck gold on Monday when his lottery ticket turned out to be the winning ticket. A regular buyer of the tickets, Rajan has won prizes up to Rs 2000. However, on a fortunate Monday, he could not believe that he hit the jackpot when his ticket won the first prize of the Christmas-New Year bumper lottery worth Rs 12 crore, the biggest price from the Kerala state lotteries.

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Nearly three weeks ago, the 55-year-old daily wage laborer from Puralimala Kurichia (tribal) colony at Malur Kaithachala bought the ticket while he was on his way to the bank at Koothuparamba. The journey was to avail the fourth loan to make repayments of the three he had taken before. While on his way to the bank, he decided on buying a ticket from the Payyan Agencies. But, he did not tell anyone about his purchase as the ticket required him to shell out Rs 300, a lot more than the usual cost and also because his wife Rajani was against his habit of wasting money on the lottery.

Kerala labourer

When asked about his victory Rajan said, “I feel happy. I never expected this. I would now be able to settle all my loans which were around Rs 7 lac. I will now be able to fix my house. My wife always fought with me for my habit of buying lottery tickets as she thought it is a waste of money.”

A father of two daughters and a son, Rajan was constantly frustrated. He had to set apart a good portion of the amount he had taken as a loan to marry off his elder daughter, Athira. The ornaments of his wife also had to be mortgaged.

Now he is happy that his younger daughter Akshara, a student of Class 12, can complete her studies without any hassle. His son Rigil, who had completed his degree, has been helping his father.

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Rajan stated that he became aware of the bumper ticket after the announcement was made on the news. Rajan admitted that he was nervous to check his ticket number. On Tuesday he confirmed the ticket number at a nearby shop after which he claims that his life changed forever.

“I would also like to help the needy as I know the hardships of life,” said Rajan, who handed over the ticket, ST 269609, to the Malur Service Cooperative Bank at Tholambra, now part of the Kerala Bank.

My Periyar Lake Boating Experience Places to Visit – Thekkady

Lake The small town of Thekkady in Kerala is fast becoming one of the tourist hotspots of the state. I wanted to know what all the hype was about, and after doing some research, I set off in search of a new experience. When I reached Thekkady, I realized why so many people have paid visits to these parts. The entire length and breadth of the Thekkady landscape are filled with lush greenery. No matter where you look, you would find forests. It was as if the wilderness was all around me, inviting me to explore it.

Lake Boating

However, going into the wild on my own would have been a foolish decision, as the locals told me later on. They said the best way to actually see the local wildlife in action was through Thekkady boating. They told me of the Periyar Lake and how I could enjoy a boat ride there. The idea seemed fascinating, but it was evening already. They told me it would be best to wait a day and head out the next afternoon. In the meanwhile, I decided to talk to the locals and gain more information about Periyar Lake.

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My Periyar Lake Boating Experience

I found out that the Periyar Lake is not a natural lake. It was created in the late 19th century, almost by accident. The dam construction over the Mullaperiyar River resulted in the Periyar Lake being created, and since then, it has fascinated both locals and outsiders. Over the years, it has also become an important part of the region’s ecosystem, as it helps many birds and animals to thrive in the region. The lake is within the famous Periyar Tiger Reserve, which makes it a wildlife lover’s delight.

I waited with great anticipation for the next afternoon, and as soon as it came, I rushed towards the lake. Once I got there, I found out that the boat rides here are one and a half hours each. I had to pay Rs. 225 to get on a boat. With several other travel enthusiasts on the boat with me, we started. Within a few minutes, we could see several unique birds flying over the spectacular lake and the trees of the surrounding forests. We were rushing from one side of the boat to another, hoping to catch glimpses of as many animals as we could.

The animal sightings continued, but the most memorable one was still to come. It was summer when I went to Thekkady and in summers all water sources in the Periyar Tiger Reserve except Periyar Lake, dry up. As a result, most animals and birds come to quench their thirst by drinking the water from the lake. Around one hour into our boat ride, we saw a herd of elephants. It was a spectacular sight, with many elephants using their trunks to splash water. They were having fun, and I immediately took out my camera to capture as much of it as I could.

The boat ride came to an end shortly thereafter, and I felt very glad about the fact that I visited this enchanting place.

Booking Seats on the Boats

Once the boat ride was over, I found out more details which may be of help to you in booking seats on a boat. If you go to Periyar Lake and book on the spot, you need to pay Rs. 225 like me. They charge Rs. 75 for children. Thanks to the internet, advance bookings are also possible, but they are more expensive. To book in advance, you have to pay Rs. 500 per seat. You also have to pay Rs. 35 as entry charges when you enter the Periyar Tiger Reserve. International tourists have to pay Rs. 300 to enter.

The boats leave at specific timings. There are 5 boat rides per day, with the first one starting at 7:30 AM and the last one starting at 3:30 PM. I was on the 1:45 PM boat as that is the best time to catch the local wildlife in action.

Other Places to Visit in Thekkady

  1. Mangla Devi Temple
  2. Murikkady
  3. Kumily
  4. Pandikuzhi
  5. Anakkara
  6. Mullaperiyar Dam

1. Mangla Devi Temple

Like the Periyar Lake, this temple too is located within the boundaries of the Tiger Reserve. The temple does not feature elaborate architecture, but its setting is special. It is a holy place for many pilgrims who come to seek blessings from Mangla Devi, the local deity who symbolizes the moral powers in women.

2. Murikkady

Not too far from Thekkady lies the area known as Murikkady. The rolling hills of this place are simply mesmerizing. It is a center of coffee and spice plantations, which delightfully dot the slopes. The tea, coffee, cardamom, ginger and turmeric produced here are held in high regard all across India.

3. Kumily

Another hotbed of spice plantations, Kumily is ideal for people who are seeking peace and solitude in and around Thekkady. Located at a distance of just 4 km. from Thekkady town, Kumily is full of greenery. It also has some great places to eat out.

4. Pandikuzhi

If you want to spend the day with your friends and family in a serene setting, then you should definitely visit Pandikuzhi. This large flat area is completely green, and it features numerous streams crisscrossing through the meadows. This area is right on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

5. Anakkara

The small village of Anakkara is just 13 km. from Thekkady, and it is a great place to visit if you want to know more about the local culture. The village also has some stunning waterfalls, which makes it a must-visit for nature lovers.

6. Mullaperiyar Dam

The dam whose construction led to the creation of the Periyar Lake is also worth a visit. People don’t really come here for the dam itself, but the views. The location of the dam is quite unique. It is set at an altitude of almost 3,000 feet, atop the Cardamom Hills. The views from the vicinity are stunning and you can get a bird’s eye view of the Periyar National Park from here.

Things to Do in Thekkady

Mingle with Elephants at the Elephant Junction: The Elephant Junction is a place where you can interact with elephants. After I saw them on my boat ride through Periyar Lake, I wanted to get close to these gentle giants, and the Elephant Junction gave me that opportunity. I had to pay Rs. 400 to enter, but I did not mind, as I got to spend hours with the elephants.

Lake Boating1

Learn about Kalaripayattu: Kalaripayattu is a famous form of martial art that originated in these parts. To know more about it and to see it in action, you have to visit the Kadathanadan Kalari Centre. You have to pay Rs. 200 to enter and you can see experts performing the art with grace and agility.

Know All About the Local Spices at Abraham’s Spice Garden: Abraham’s Spice Garden makes for a great destination for people who want to know about all the spices cultivated in this region. As you enter, you would be able to smell the aromas of various spices, which gives it a very organic vibe. The gardens here are full of unique spices and it is one of the landmark centers for organic farming in the Thekkady region. You need to pay Rs. 200 to enter the premises.

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The Best Time to Visit Thekkady

I visited Thekkady in the summer months, just because I wanted to see the wildlife of the Periyar Tiger Reserve more than anything else. However, summers can be quite uncomfortable as the temperatures remain quite high. If you want the most comfortable experience in Thekkady, my advice to you would be to visit the town in the winter months. During winters, the weather stays delightful, and you can also do trekking without getting too uncomfortable. Monsoons are also nice as the rains make everything look greener. So if you want to see Thekkady’s greenery at their greenest, monsoon would be the ideal time for visiting.

Travel Tips

Safety in Thekkady is not a big issue as crime rates in the region are very low. However, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind such as:

  • It’s best to avoid going into the forests on your own. Due to its proximity to a wildlife reserve, there are chances that you may encounter wild animals in the forests.
  • Treks are best during the summer and winter months as the weather stays clear. Rains during the monsoon months may make trails around the place quite slippery and hence, risky.